Weekly Tip: Locking your Computer

Keeping your data secure is critical. Allowing others access to your computer is unwise to say the least. Think of walking away with your computer “open” in the same way as walking away with your open purse or wallet unattended in a public place. Now I am fairly certain most people would never intend to leave their open purse or wallet unattended and your computer should be treated in the same manner.

It is very easy to “lock” your computer when you get up from your desk to walk away.  For example, lets say you want to walk away from your desk, and deliver a hot cup of coffee to your IT Manager. Here are some easy directions to lock your PC while you deliver that much needed cup of coffee:

1. via the keyboard
The easiest way to lock Windows XP is by simply pressing the Windows logo key and the letter L (for Lock) on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard or any other compatible keyboard that includes the Window key. Doing so will pop up the Unlock Computer Password box.

2. via a Shortcut.
If you don’t have a keyboard with a Window key or simply don’t like the keyboard method, then here’s how you can make a desktop shortcut to lock your computer.

Right click an empty area of your desktop, choose New/Shortcut and enter this line as the command line:
rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation Click. Next. Name the shortcut whatever you prefer and click Finish. That’s it. Pretty simple wouldn’t you say.

There are other ways to lock your workstation such as simply pressing the [ctrl] [alt] and [delete] keys and selecting “lock computer” so please do yourself a favor and lock your computer when you step away from your work area. The data you save may be your own!

Share This:

New Life Form Discovered

And to think I grew up with all of my “friends” calling me a “geek” or “nerd” because of my love for Star Trek. Now many years later, NASA announces that they have discovered a new form of life based on Arsenic. Basically what this proves is that life forms are capable of developing in strange places, including other planets. Just think about it, if life can evolve from arsenic the possibilities are endless.

You can learn more about NASA’s latest discovery here.

Share This:

Epic Mickey Review & Rating | PCMag.com

This could be the one video game you need to pick up this holiday season if you ask me. Mickey meets Mario is what comes to mind. I have not been a gamer for quite a while but I do I have Nintendo Wii and this new game would look sweet on my 55″ Samsung LED HDTV.

To learn more check out PC Magazine’s article at Epic Mickey Review & Rating PCMag.com.

Share This:

Windows 7 for Sandi

Ok Sandi’s reward for crashing 2 pc’s is that she gets to be the first employee to use Windows 7 and Office 2010. If you are curious to what these look like be sure to stop by and see Sandi.

Share This:

Watch Out For E-Card Trouble


Staying safe online is always a challenge and with the holidays the virtual Grinch’s surround us along with the cheer. Lets face it, everyone likes receiving greetings cards and the hackers know this. That is why it is critical for all of us to protect not not only ourselves, but our network as well. The problem is that it can be difficult to spot these potential assaults because they come in so many forms and it seems as though new ones are being created daily. E-cards received in your email, like the popular “postcard from Hallmark virus” is one such scam that is circulating the internet these days, and here is what you need to know about it.


Postcard From Hallmark virus – What Is It?

This particular hoax is merely an email that is being sent that warns the recipient of the worst email virus ever. It tells you that if you receive an email telling you that you have a postcard from Hallmark that this email is carrying the worst virus ever and that this was confirmed by Snopes.com. The virus is supposed to burn your entire hard drive. While it is important to remember that emails can carry viruses and that you should always be careful, this particular email is a hoax. This email itself is a problem in the sense that it causes human hysteria, although your computer is actually safe!

How About Other E-Cards I May Receive In My Email?

Quite simply never open e-cards, no matter the time of the year.  E-cards have a terrible history of exploiting users who open them, resulting in viruses, trojan horses and worms. 

Our in-house computer security training on December 21, 2010 will address this issue in more detail.

Share This:

Monthly Gadget Review


Picture 6

This holiday season the hot gadget is the Samsung Galaxy Tablet. At 7” x 4” as compared to the Apple I-Pad’s larger frame of 9” x 7” the Galaxy is a much more mobile device then the I-Pad, weighing in at about half of the I-Pad. This article is not meant to actually compare the two devices so that is all you are going to hear about the Apple I-Pad. (I actually can’t help myself a little later in the article.)

Samsung’s Galaxy tablet runs on Android 2.2 software which is becoming one of the most popular mobile device OS’s (operating system) today.  The big four carriers (ATT, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) all have different plans for the Galaxy so you need to be aware of this if you are thinking about it. Personally I believe the most fair plan is Verizon Wireless for 20 bucks a month. With this plan you get 1GB of traffic over their network, but the best part is that you are not locked into a contract and you can cancel the plan at any time. After the plan is cancelled with Verizon Wireless, you simply treat the tablet like a laptop, using it’s wireless connectivity to access any wi-fi network.

The device is sturdy and because it is about the size of a trade paperback it is as mobile as a book making it very easy to travel with. If I carried a purse (which I don’t) you could easily store it there as well! Android-logo

Now on to the fun stuff. What can you do with it once you have one? Android software was initially developed by Android Inc. and eventually purchased by Google in 2005. Android has been slowly developing and becoming more popular with mobile devices and has truly become a big player in the market. The operating system is dependable and easy to learn, although there are those who claim that it is a too “techy”. Android software is “community-based firmware” which means that it is open source allowing for programmers to easily develop software for any device running Android. What this means is there are always plenty of useful and fun apps (or applications) for the device.

In addition to surfing the web with various browsers of choice (Android Browser, Firefox and Dolphin, with Chrome on the way) you can get your social networking on with Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Goodreads and more. Watching video from services such as Youtube is flawless as well.

If you are a book reader (like me) and you have been thinking about e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook, look no further that this device. The Galaxy has great apps for both which work great. I actually have had a Nook for about a year, and after a day or two with the Galaxy Tablet I was able to retire it (giving it to one of my sons of course) and use the galaxy for this purpose as well. The display is easy on your eyes when you are reading and at night you won’t even need a night light because of the screen!

With the Galaxy Tablet you can remain in touch with work (if you want to) because it is easy to access your corporate email, calendar and tasks on your device. At the same time you can enjoy social networking sites, plenty of games, internet sites, HD video, music and more all on the same small 7” tablet.

Unlike the I-Pad, Android supports Flash which is important when browsing many websites as well as video formats such as XviD and DivX.

With an additional 1.3MP camera in on the front of the device, you will be able to engage in video chats, something you cannot do with an iPad. Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity will  take care of your browsing needs. Battery life of Galaxy tablet is impressive to, with the device able to deliver up to seven hours of movie playback without charging.

As I noted above there are several price points, with Verizon Wireless probably being the best choice because you can actually cancel the service contract resulting in no monthly cost.


You can learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Tablet here.

To lean more about Android click here.

Share This:

A Big "Track-It" Thank You

I wanted to say thank you to all of my co-workers who have started using Track-It to request IT related services. This is a big help to me regarding scheduling and prioritizing the services I provide. As you can see by this graph, the work orders are being entered on a regular basis and it is helping me.

Share This:

Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses Oh My!

Don’t forget that on December 21, 2010 we are having our first in-house IT training for employees. The topic will cover the following important security issues which every computer user should be familiar with.

  • Passwords
  • Viruses
  • Trojan Horses
  • Worms
  • Spam

Please make sure to sign up today for either the morning session starting at 10:00am or the afternoon session at 1:00pm. If anyone has any questions please contact me at cdmann@west-chester.com

Share This:

Droid Test

Testing ability to post from my Droid. If this worked you will see it. If not then you won’t.

Share This:

Our Own Tech Blog Opens!

Posing for State Tech Magazine

Today was a big day and you did not even know it. You see, today we have our own West Chester Tech Blog. This blog is geared to all West Chester employees and associates.

I will work hard to keep everyone up to date with the latestet technology trends as well as gadget news. Also, and more importantly I will strive with this blog to keep everyone up to date with virus, spam and other security news in order to keep all of us safe, at least virtually.

In today’s virtual world we all need to stay alert to security concerns, technology trends and software options that seem to expand each and every day. My goal is to provide some useful information as we journey through this new tech world together and just may have a little fun along the way.

Share This:

1 140 141 142